Hello world, I recently posted a message on: "Choosing a CPU: AMD Phenom 9950" "Choosing a Motherboard: ASUS, AM2+ Socket, NVIDIA/SLI Chipset, or switch to non-ASUS" "Choosing RAM: For 64-bit Quad Core (AMD Phenom 9950)" The focus of this message is GPU specific. Here is a summarized introduction on what lead to this discussion and will eventually consist of purchasing my GPU: I have needed a new computer for some time now, specifically for producing music (for my profession), though with the invitation to join an early testing phase of an unnamed online game that is not due for release until next year, I picked up the motivation to finally build a computer rather than buy a pre-built. I think it's pretty funny when you are motivated to build a computer for "work" when you know it will be used for "fun" too. Though, my work is also fun, I love my career. In any case, you will find some of the information on the "whole project" in another thread, including revisions to my big list of components/parts. Here is a direct link to "version 1.5" of my list. Purpose of this computer: 1/2 music production, 1/2 gaming; and a little extra multimedia mixed in, for use with movies/tv shows. Price range for this computer: $1,000 to $1,500 (if possible), though I might go a little higher. Side note: some subjects require some special attention and the purpose in the "System Builder's Advice" forum is "...for your whole project." So, I'll leave that there and this one specific piece of my computer puzzle open to discussion here. This is the perfect place for GPU talk, after all! Now... back to the topic... I am 100% positive that I want the "AMD Phenom 9950" CPU and around 95-99% positive that I want the "NVIDIA 9800 GTX" GPU. (The 95-99% on the GPU involves the motherboard, which will be explained elsewhere.) GPU: The GPU is really for my gaming experience - and I'm testing a game that won't be released for another year. I know the game has absolute bare minimum requirements of "Shader Model 3.0 capable Video card, Direct X 9c, 256 MB Ram". I'd like to make sure the GPU I get definitely supports that. I am pretty sure the 9800GTX does. The rest of the computer use, as far as I'm concerned, will not be graphics intense, as I had previously mentioned that I will be using it 1/2 for gaming and 1/2 for professionally produced music - MIDI and live audio, for composing and recording. I have come across several versions of the 9800 GTX GPU though I am unsure which one to get. It would help if I knew how they are different and the pros/cons to their differences. I am aware of the various clock speeds including the stock speed, superclocked, and ssc, though I am unaware of the pros/cons in each. I am aware of some basics within a few other GPU specs, though I am unaware of what those specs really mean and how they differ. Here are the three GPUs I am referring to: "EVGA 512-P3-N873-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130376 ($189.99) ($159.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate, available up to 11/5, with special savings on AMD CPU combo, ends 11/5) or "XFX PVT98FYDBU GeForce 9800 GTX Black Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150297 ($189.99) (Black Edition overclocked at 760MHz) or "EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130339 ($159.99) I did look into a lower priced GTX260, though it is doubtful I can afford it: "MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...rd section of this message.)m=N82E16814127361 ($239.99) (Free Rainbow 6 Vegas2 game w/ purchase, limited offer.) (Considering the other components I'll be getting, the GTX260 is most likely out of my price range.) Thank you!